By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Pedro Caiado
LONDON (Reuters) - London
relaunched its menswear fashion week on Friday with a new name
and quirky designs as the city seeks to hold on to its status as
a creativity hub following Britain's vote to leave the European
In contrast to fashion capital rivals like Paris, Milan and New
York, London showcases fewer big brands during men's fashion
week, giving room to emerging hot talents to present their
"The point of difference in London is that you have a real
wealth of young, creative talent matched with these established,
heritage businesses," Caroline Rush, chief executive of the
British Fashion Council (BFC), told Reuters.
Among the first brands presenting on Friday was high street
label Topman Design. It looked to the 1990s "pubbing and
clubbing scene" for a collection of loose sweaters with logos,
fringed tops, neon colored jackets and wide-leg jeans. Models
wore high-waisted trousers with check print jackets, sports
shoes and a single dangly earring.
The event first launched in 2012 as three days of catwalk shows
known as London Collections: Men, but rebranded this year as
London Fashion Week Men's running over four days.
Hanging over this year's fashion shows are Britain's looming
divorce talks with the EU. A BFC survey ahead of the referendum
in June revealed more than 90 percent of 290 designers wanted to
remain in the bloc.
"We've got to abide by the results and make sure Brexit works
for the fashion industry and for our country too," London Mayor
Sadiq Khan, who campaigned for Britain to remain a member of the
EU, told Reuters at the launch.
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"They want to make sure we can continue to attract talent."
According to data quoted by the BFC, the men's clothing market grew
by 4.1 percent to 14.1 billion pounds ($17.36 billion) in Britain in
2015. Menswear accounted for 25 percent of the total clothing
Some brands such as Vivienne Westwood will present womenswear
together with menswear at the event as a growing number of designers
opt for mixed-gender catwalk shows.
However many, including British luxury label Burberry, are doing so
during the higher-profile biannual women's fashion weeks, raising
questions over the future of separate menswear events.
"Certainly the men's market is incredibly strong, the womenswear
market is incredibly strong and as it stands at the moment there is
a definite validity to have two very strong fashion weeks," Rush
(Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Pedro Caiado; Writing by
Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Richard Lough)
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